Official website of the Best Destinations in Europe.

  • Search
  • Notifications
    best-hidden-gems-2021-europe

    Best Hidden Gems 2021

    This year, more than ever, you are seeking something different, away from the usual overrated destinations.

  • Follow us
Best Castles in Austria

Best Castles in Austria

There are about forty castles and fortresses in Austria. Some were the subject of fierce battles or were wedding gifts for beautiful princesses, others served as official residences or holiday homes for the most important Austrian dynasties. Here is your short list of the most beautiful castles and fortresses not to be missed during your stay in Austria.

 

Book your flights, accommodation and tours and activities in Austria such as a "Schönbrunn Palace tour and concert" for a fairytale holiday in Austria.

 

 


Best castles in Austria - Hohenwerfen Castle  - Copyright  SaKaLovo - European Best Destinations
© SaKaLovo

Hohenwerfen Castle

Werfen

A few years ago, this castle turned into a real adventure park for young and old. There is even a tavern! We recommend that you stay in Salzburg and take a day or two tour of the region. During your stay, be sure to visit the "World's largest ice caves" in Werfen, ranked among the best hidden gems in Austria.

 

Opening hours: The castle is open every weekday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

 

How to get there: Book your flights to Salzburg (50 min by car, 1 hour by train - stop at Werfen guard).

 

Where to stay: "Hotel Adler" offering Austrian cuisine and a cocktail bar.

 


Best Castles in Austria - Gmunden Schloss Ort - Copyright Rasto SK- European Best Destinations
©Rasto SK

Schloss Ort

Gmunden

Discover a millennium of history by visiting this castle, ranked among the most beautiful castles in Austria. It owes its name "Schloss Ort" to its founder, Hartnidus of Ort. The town of Gmünden, where this sublime castle is located, also owned the castle in the 16th century, but as soon as it bought it it sold it to Rudolf II, King of Hungary and Croatia.

 

Illustrious figures from Austria once owned this castle. The castle is now reopened to the public  because the town of Gmunden owns it once again, 5 centuries later. The castle is open to the public every  weekday  from 10 am – 5pm. It is very popular with the Austrians and has also hosted television shoots including the television series "Schlosshotel Orth" which was filmed for 10 years in this dream castle.

 

Book your flights to Salzburg and discover one of Austria's most beautiful castles.

 

Opening hours: Open daily from 10 am - 5 pm.

 

How to get there: Book your flights to Salzburg (50 min by car) as well as your accommodation and your tours and activities in Austria.

 

Where to stay: "Seehotel Schwan" for their panoramic lake and mountain views.

 


Best Castles in Austria - Aggstein Castle - Copyright Canadastock - European Best Destinations
©Canadastock

Aggstein Castle

Aggstein - Lower Austria

Aggstein Castle is a fortified castle built on the hill of Aggstein. Thanks to its location, it offers a magnificent view of the valley, a perfect observation post to watch for the arrival of any invaders. Now partly in ruins and overgrown with vegetation, this castle is even more romantic.

 

Book your flights to Vienna as well as your accommodation at the best price and your tours and activities in Vienna such as a "Romantic evening cruise with dinner through the illuminated Vienna Region".

 

Opening hours: Open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

 

How to get there: Book your flights to Vienna or Linz (1h by car, 2h30 by public transport).

 

Where to stay: "Residenz Wachau" with panoramic view of the Danube, original decoration and hearty breakfast.

 


Best Castles in Austria - Hochosterwitz Castle copyright Sergey Novikov  - European Best Destinations
©Sergey Novikov

Hochosterwitz Castle 

Hochosterwitz - Carinthia

Hochosterwitz Castle is regarded by Austrians and world travellers as one of the most beautiful medieval castles in Europe. This fortress built on top of a 150-metre hill dominates the entire region. No need to stay at the foot of the castle to see it, it is visible more than 30 kilometres around.

 

Opening hours:  Open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

 

How to get there: Book your flights to Graz (1h30 by car).

 

Where to stay: "Hotel Dienstl Gut" located 2 kilometres from the castle, it offers an equestrian center and a wellness center.

 


Best castles in Austria - Tratzberg Castle - Copyright Karl Allen Lugmayer- European Best Destinations
©Karl Allen Lugmayer

Tratzberg Castle

Jenbach - Tyrol

This renaissance castle is one of the most beautiful castles in Austria and one of the most visited in Tyrol. If it has known many owners since the 13th century, a devastating fire in the 15th century  is at the origin of the change of style of this castle. Bought by wealthy silver mine owners from Emperor Maximilian, it has undergone many extensions which are at the origin of its current architecture.

 

The castle is now open to the public but still inhabited by nobles: Count Ulrich Goëss-Enzenberg and his wife Katrin. The castle courtyard as well as the first floor are open to the public from the end of March to the end of October.

 

Book your flights to Innsbruck as well as your accommodation and tours and activities and discover one of Austria's most beautiful castles.

 

Opening hours: Open to the public from late March to late October from 10 am to 5 pm.

 

How to get there: Book your flights to Innsbruck (30 min by car) as well as your accommodation in Innsbruck and your tours and activities.

 

Where to stay: "Travel Charme Fürstenhaus Am Achensee" located right on the shore of Lake Achen.

 


Best castles in Austria - Kuffstein Castle  - Copyright Tatiana Popova - European Best Destinations
©Tatiana Popova

Kufstein Fortress

Kufstein - Tyrol

Just like you do for the Riegersberg Castle, board a funicular to reach this fortress built on the heights of Kufstein. If you are afraid of  funiculars and you do not mind doing a bit of sport you can climb the many steps  to this legendary fortress for free.

 

Margarete "Maultasch", the last Duchess of Tyrol, was particularly pretty and coveted. To show her his love, Ludwig of Brandenburg gave her this castle as a wedding present. However, a few years later the castle was to join the many properties of the Habsburgs’ with the attachment of Tyrol to Austria.

 

If the fortress today hosts concerts, joyous events, it was for a long time used as a prison and is not only a good memory for many Hungarians.

 

Discover the incredible history of this fortress by booking your flights to Innsbruck (1 hour by car) as well as your accommodation and your tours and activities in Austria.

 

Opening hours: Open daily from 10 am to 5pm.

 

How to get there: Book your flights to  Innsbruck (1h by car) as well as your accommodation and your tours and activities in Austria.

 

Where to stay: "Hotel Stadt Kufstein" located in the pedestrian area (centre of Kustein), 300 m from the fortress.

 


Best castles in Austria - Kreuzenstein Castle - copyright  Lipskiy - European Best Destinations
© Lipskiy

Kreuzenstein Castle

Leobendorf - Lower Austria

This medieval castle, located just 30 minutes from Vienna city centre  is one of Austria’s most beautiful castles.

 

Demolished in the Middle Ages and reborn from its ashes in the 19th century, it keeps most its medieval architecture.

Come discover the history of this 12th century castle and book your flights and accommodation at the best price in Vienna as well as your tours and activities in Vienna such as your ticket for Mozart & Strauss Concert in Kursalon Vienna.

 

Opening hours: The castle is open to visitors every day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

 

How to get there: Book your flights to Vienna and get to Leobendorf by car (30 min) or by public transport (40 min).

 

Where to stay: State Opera Alley Lodge”, a comfortable apartment with 2 bedrooms and a fully equipped kitchen, well located and highly rated by travellers.

 


Best castles in Austria - Schloss Schönbrunn - Copyright Canadastock - European Best Destinations
©Canadastock

Schloss Schönbrunn

Vienna

The most famous castle in Austria is certainly Schönbrunn Palace. It is one of the most visited monuments by travellers in Vienna. Listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site for more than 20 years, this castle has evolved over the centuries thanks to Austrian Emperors Maximilian and Matthias.

 

Its name "Schönbrunn" certainly comes from the fountain on the grounds of the castle. “Schöner Brunnen” which in fact means “Pretty fountain”. Come and discover the history of this castle by booking your flights and your accommodation at the best price in Vienna as well as your tours and activities in Vienna such as a Strudel show with tasting at Schönbrunn Palace.

 

Opening hours: The castle is open every day from 8 a.m. to 6.30 p.m.

 

How to get there: Book your flights to Vienna.

 

Where to stay: "Austria Trend Parkhotel Schönbrunn Wien", located 10 minutes walk from Schönbrunn Palace.

 


Best castles in Austria SchonBuehel - Copyright Trabantos - European Best Destinations
©Trabantos

Schloss Schönbühel Castle

Schönbühel-Aggsbach - Lower Austria

 

This castle, whose origin dates back to the 12th century, was built on a rocky outcrop, on the right bank of the Danube. It dominates the city of Schönbühel-Aggsbach. While it was owned by various important people, it still remained in the Starhemberg family for almost half a millennium.

 

We owe the complete renovation of this castle in the 19th century to Conte Franz von Beroldingen  The latter was a castle enthusiast as he also bought one of Austria's other most beautiful castles, the Castle of Aggstein, a 15-minute drive away.

 

During your stay do not miss to visit the Benedictine Abbey of Melk.

 

Book your flights to Vienna as well as your accommodation at the best price in Vienna or Melk and your tours and activities in Austria such as a "Vienna Spanish Riding School Guided Tour".

 

Opening hours: Open daily 9 am-6pm from mid May to mid October.

 

How to get there: Book your flights to Vienna (1h15 by car) as well as your accommodation and tours and activities in Austria.

 

Where to stay: "Altstadt Apartments Melk". 500m from the Abbey.

 


Best castles in Austria - Forchtenstein Castle - Copyright Alexandr Medvedkov - European Best Destinations
©Alexandr Medvedkov

Forchtenstein Castle

Mattersburg - Northern Burgenland

This medieval castle located just 50 minutes from the Austrian capital is considered one of the most beautiful castles in Austria. If it has long been the property of the Lords of Mattersburg, for lack of heir, it became the property of the Habsburg dynasty for nearly two centuries.

 

Visiting this castle also means exploring the history of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and its separation into two countries in 1921. Book your flights to Vienna and discover the most beautiful castles in Austria.

 

Opening hours: Open daily from 10 am to 5pm.

 

How to get there: Book your flights to Vienna (50 min by car) as well as your accommodation in Vienna and your tours and activities in Vienna.

 

Where to stay: "Boutique Hotel Das Tigra" is a family-run hotel in the real heart of Vienna.

 


Best castles in Austria - Ambras Castle - Copyright ELEPHOTOS - European Best Destinations
©ELEPHOTOS

Schloss Ambras Castle

Innsbruck

This Renaissance castle overlooks the beautiful city of Innsbruck, ranked among the best destinations to visit in Austria. This 16th century castle is one of the most visited castles in Austria. Like the Kufstein Fortress, this castle was also a wedding gift.

 

The son of Emperor Ferdinand I had this castle completely renovated  from medieval to Renaissance style and offered it to the love of his life, his wife, Philippine Welser. Philippine was a bit like the Lady-Di of the Renaissance. She was very popular and loved by the people thanks to her many charitable actions in Tyrol. A museum now houses the important art collections collected by this dynasty.

 

Book your flights to Innsbruck as well as your accommodation and tours and activities in Innsbruck such as a your tickets for Schloss Ambras.

 

Opening hours: Open daily from 10 am to 5pm.

 

How to get there: Book your flights to

 

Where to stay: "AC Hotel by Marriott Innsbruck" located in the real heart of Innsbruck.

 


Best Castles in Austria - Laxenburg Water Castles  Copyright RossHelen - European Best Destinations
©RossHelen

Laxenburg Castles

Laxenburg - Lower Austria

The summer residence of the Habsburg royal family is located just a 30-minute drive (1.5 hours by carriage) from the Schönbrunn palace, another of Austria's most beautiful castles, also owned by the Habsburgs. "Laxenburg castles" is  plural since several castles and royal palaces were built in Laxenburg, a town near Vienna.

 

The castle you see above is called "Franzensburg Castle" in reference to Emperor Franz I. It is probably one of the most beautiful because it is built on an island. It is home to conventions and major events and has a restaurant. Opinions may be mixed about the food served but unanimously positive about the exceptionnal setting.

 

Book your flights to Vienna as well as your accommodation at the best price and your tours and activities in Vienna such as a Schönbrunn Palace & Gardens: Skip-the-Line Guided Tour.

 

Opening hours: Open daily from 9.30 am to 7pm.

 

How to get there: Book your flights to Vienna as well as your transfer to the city centre.

 

Where to stay: "Hotel Sans Souci Wien", situated in the real heart of Vienna.

 


Best Castles in Austria - Seefeld Castle - Copyright LianeM - European Best Destinations
©LianeM

Seefeld Castle

Seefeld - Tyrol - Austria

 

This incredible castle which arises at the bend of a road in Tirol is one of the most beautiful castles in Austria. Discover the history of a territory and the dynasties that fought for its castle built in the 13th century.  Seefeld is its name in Tirol, Schlossberg Castle in German. The castle is open to the public and hosts many events and concerts.

 

Book your flights to Innsbruck as well as your accommodation and tours and activities in Innsbruck. It is one of the must-see destinations in Austria.

 

Opening hours: The castle is only open when events are held there.

 

How to get there: Book your flights to Innsbruck (30 min by car).

 

Where to stay: "Hotel Maximilian - Stadthaus Penz" is a family-run hotel located in the heart of Innsbruck.

 


Best castles in Austria - Riegersburg Castle Copyright Lukeontheroad - European Best Destinations
©Lukeontheroad

Riegersburg Castle

Riegersburg - Styria

Visit one of the most sulphurous castles in Europe. Not sulphurous in the demonic sense but sulphurous because it is built on top of an Austrian volcano. Do not worry when visiting the castle, the volcano on which it was built died out millions of years ago.

 

This castle, whose origins date back to the 12th century, is now owned by the Princely Family of Liechtenstein. The castle is perched high and you will take a funicular to reach one of Austria's most beautiful castles.

 

If the castle has a very interesting museum (even if sometimes there is a lack of English translations), it will also appeal to children because it has a playground.

 

Book your flights to Graz (50 min by car) as well as your accommodation and tours and activities in Austria.

 

Opening hours: The castle is open every day of the week from 10 am to 7pm.

 

How to get there: Book your flights to Graz (50 min by car) as well as your accommodation and tours and activities in Styria.

 

Where to stay: "NH Graz City" well set in the centre of Graz.

 


Best castles in Austria - Copyrignt Naumenko Aleksandr  - European Best Destinations
©Naumenko Aleksandr

HohenSalzburg Fortress

Salzburg

Located in the heart of the city of Salzburg, this fortress is one of the symbols of this city. Come and discover this 11th century fortress and its incredible history. Choose from hundreds of cheap accommodation in Salzburg and book your flights and your tours and activities in Salzburg such as a "Classical evening at the Hohensalzburg Fortress with concert and dinner.

 

 Opening hours: Open every day from 9:30 am to 5 pm

 

How to get there: Book your flights to Salzburg.

 

Where to stay: Gästenhaus im Priesterseminar Salzburg”. Stay in the heart of Salzburg, 500m from the fortress.

 


 

Plan your trip to Austria

  • Hotels, Apartments, B&B...

    Fresh deals every single day

    Thousands reviews you can trust

  • Tours, Sightseeing & Activities

     

    Discover Austria’s biggest collection of things to do and guided tours.

    Whatever you want to do you’ll find it here.

     

    Vienna

    Vienna

    Salzburg

    Salzburg

    Innsbruck

    Innsbruck

    hallstatt

    Hallstatt

    Graz

    Graz

    More destinations

    More destinations

Travelling to Austria.

Explore Austria holidays and the best places to visit